Star Trek Discovery on Netflix: Transgender and Non-Binary Heroes, Franchise First!

The third season of “Star Trek Discovery”, offered exclusively for US + 24 on Netflix France, marked a great first in the history of the franchise, with the presence of transgender and non-binary actors.


By welcoming transgender and non-binary actors in its third season, the Star Trek Discovery series has once again marked the history of the famous sci-fi franchise. More than a simple feature, the representation of minorities has always been the DNA of the saga, since its creation in 1966 by Gene Roddenberry. Remember that the original series was the first to show an interracial kiss in 1968, but also to highlight African-American and Asian characters.

At its launch, the series Star Trek Discovery had already marked the spirits by proposing among its main characters a couple of gay men; the existence of homosexual characters having been hitherto suggested in the previous series but never been shown frontally. Meanwhile, the film Star Trek No Limits (2016) introduced the character of Sulu as gay, a decision criticized by the original cast of the character George Takei, himself a gay man.

In the fourth episode of the current season, the non-binary artist Blu del Barrio played Adira, the first human who became a receptacle for the Trill symbiote. The interpreter’s sexual identity has also directly inspired the plot of this episode devoted to the question of identity, including when buried memories revealed his past in love with his lover Trill Gray, meanwhile embodied by transgender actor Ian Alexander. In the universe Star Trek, representatives of the extraterrestrial species Trill have always seemed to be a metaphor for transidentity, without this ever being directly formulated.

By drawing on the sexual identity of its performers to conceive this plot, Star Trek Discovery has therefore gained in authenticity, but also proved its ability to respect the essence of the original series while adapting its themes to today’s social issues.

The episodes of Star Trek Discovery can be found every Friday in US + 24 on Netflix.

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